Global Customer Appreciation Week for both The Ritz-Carlton Riyadh and Marriott Hotel Riyadh were on full swing last week as they celebrated in each of their hotels. Guests, colleagues and partners were invited to a cozy and celebratory atmosphere with a showcase of both hotels’ accomplishments and future projects.
Since Marriott Hotels and The Ritz-Carlton Riyadh are under the same mother company, we decided to combine both events in this one post. Check out the scenes below:
A sophisticated and regal reception welcomed the invitees at the east outdoor section of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Riyadh. With the beautiful weather we’ve been having lately, it was the best choice to have the festivities done al fresco. The staff cordially welcomed us at the red carpet that led to a photo opt session with a professional photographer.
The rest of the red carpet led to the food and beverage area that was filled with the whiffs of the grill, the tinkling of ice and glass and a performing tea master from China. The crowd was aplenty and naturally mingling with the each other. We chose our table and said hello to our notable colleagues who we always see during these events.
A violinist and a guitar player emerged in the sidelines and started to play instrumental music. If it weren’t to the rest of the ladies donning abayas, we wouldn’t remember that we were in Riyadh. We did a Facebook Live of their food stations, which included an instant sorbet creation, Arabic desserts, chicken tikka rolls, Peking duck rolls and Italian pasta dishes. A lot of hors d’oeuvres also went around as well as drinks. We kept coming back for those Peking duck rolls made by the newest Chef de Cuisine of Hong, Chef Peter Li because they were sooooo good! We were later informed that their Chinese restaurant, Hong, will be re-launched this coming November 15 and we got excited at the idea of a new menu (and more of the Peking duck rolls!).
Moments later, General Manager, Mr. Gerrit Graef spoke to the crowd briefly, thanking everyone for their continued patronage of The Ritz-Carlton Riyadh and announced some upcoming projects. There was also a short video presentation of new promotional material for Ritz-Carlton Riyadh that was presented on loop afterwards.
Before we left that evening, we received our commemorative shots from the photo opt earlier which noted that The Ritz-Carlton Riyadh is already 5 years old! Wow, time does fly. As we neared the exit, we saw a desk with a certified Arabic calligrapher seating behind it so we tried out his skills by having him write some words for us. Janelle asked them to make one saying “I Love Alfred” – which is the name of her husband. It was a delight to him write with such gracious strokes in ink.
Riyadh Marriott Hotel
Days later, we were also invited to Riyadh Marriott’s own Global Customer Appreciation Week. This one is a more partner-oriented celebration, especially with the recent acquisition of Marriott of Starwood Hotels and Resorts (i.e., Sheraton Hotels, Le Meridien and Aloft). It was held at the Makarim Convention Center of Riyadh Marriott Hotels. Similar to the Ritz, a red carpet was laid out at the entrance leading to a photo opt. However, I came in a bit late and headed right inside the ballroom to catch the happenings. Also, Janelle couldn’t make it that evening so I had to fly solo.
As I entered the dimly-lit room, I couldn’t help but feel amused at how there was a live DJ decked out on the side filling the room with booming trendy music. There were also couches situated in the center of the hall with some people sitting and chatting loudly. If I didn’t double check myself, I’d think I had just entered a club scene. 😛 Needless to say, the vibe was hip and lively. There were heaps of people roaming around as well since the food stations were accommodating the perimeter of the ballroom. It was a bit too dark for any decent photo, but I managed a short Facebook Live and the occasional Snapchat while I was there.
General Manager, Mr. Muin Serhan welcomed the audience with a heartwarming message thanking all the clients, guest and colleagues who were present and encouraged us to enjoy the rest of the night. I was able to cross paths with a few of our good friends from Arab News and Eye of Riyadh along with other staff of the hotel who are already familiar with us.
I had to leave earlier than expected and at that time interviews were still being done in the red carpet area with some of the guests. While waiting for my ride, I could hear the nearby people talking about how much fun they thought the event was and I was wondering, maybe it won’t be long until we have more open and relaxed events like these? Especially since we’re celebrating customers, they deserve the best that hotels (and other businesses) can offer.